Tag Archives: indexing services

What is Computer Output Microfilm (COM fiche)?

What is Computer Output Microfilm (COM)?

Computer Output Microfilm (COM) is a system that converts stored data directly to microfilm or microfiche. I know around ten people who used to sell Bell & Howell Computer Output Microfilm systems as far back as the 1960s to the 1980s. It almost seems to be a prerequisite for salespeople in the micrographics industry from that era.

com fiche

COM recorder

Computer Output Microfilm systems are still used today, mostly by organizations who need to store payroll, accounting, insurance, inventory, or employee data. Yet because most of these organizations have outputted the Computer Output Microfilm to microfiche, they have to manually search for a record and use a reader printer to save out a particular file.

computer output microfilm

Old diagram of COM creation (microfilm)


A more feasible option is to convert Computer Output Microfilm to digital image via Generation Imaging’s microfiche scanning services. Generation Imaging specializes in microfiche to PDF, TIFF, or JPEG conversions.

Using high quality/high production microfiche scanners, we convert the COM microfiche to digital. Generation Imaging provides this COM fiche scanning service to end users as well as other service bureau’s. Clients can choose from Adobe PDF format, Group 4 TIFF (tagged image file format), or greyscale JPEGs. PDFs and TIFFs can be wrapped in a multi-page file. Generation Imaging offers an optional OCR (optical character recognition) image processing and other indexing services (by folder or filename).

The end result of this entire process is a digital image which you could easily search the file containing records by name, account number, date, and/or social security number. Obviously this saves time and efficiency.

computer output media

COM Fiche

Definitions of COM

1. Computer Output Microfilm: microfilm containing data, which is created by a recorder from computer generated electrical signals.
2. Computer Output Microfilmer: a recorder which converts data from a computer into language and records it on microfilm.
3. Computer Output Microfilming: a method of converting data from a computer into language onto microfilm.

You can substitute “microfilm” with “microfiche“.

Do you have microfiche to convert to pdf or digital image?

If so, please contact us today for a free microfiche scanning quote. Let us digitize microfiche for you. Generation Imaging has wholesale scanning prices, and is run by a specialized experienced team. With over 30 years of experience, we have seen all types  of microfiche. We have top notch customer service and a quick turnaround. CONTACT US

BidSync Review, Is RFPMart Real?

BidSync Review

Periscope has bought over BidSync which had bought over RFP Depot and probably other government bidding opportunity websites since the early 2000s. So with Periscope buying up the big government RFP websites, how is is doing in 2017 and is it worth the price?

As much as Periscope wants to take over the name BidSync, most people who search for RFP use the term BidSync. So here is my BidSync review. I typed in “microfilm” and used all their default non-filtering search settings. Here are my results:

periscope rfp review

As you could see, I received four hits. BidSync has different software packages and 6-month to yearly commitments, starting at $499 for 6 months and topping off at $2,799 a year.

RFP Mart Review

Using RFP Mart, which only charges $9 with no commitment for individual RFP downloads, I received five active hits (their default setting which includes inactive listings 450 microfilm RFP opportunities). These leads were of better quality than BidSync’s. RFPMart offers monthly to annual packages based on category if you want unlimited downloads, similar to BidSync, ranging from around $25 a month to $950 a year (I did not view all their categories).

rfp mart microfilm


RFPMart.com vs BidSync.com

BidSync has better member services, videos, tutorials on how to write perfect bids, and has partnered exclusively with many government agencies. They give the impression that they are a large company with customer service representatives ready to assist you in any way.

RFP Mart gives the impression that it is an aggregate website which crawls government websites for their RFP info with no added on services. With two addresses- one in the US and one in India- it could be that they data mine these RFPs from public sources and sell this finding service to you cheaply.

Could You Find RFPs Without a Third Party?

If you have search engine kung fu, you could certainly attempt to backtrack these public bids by finding the government websites which offer them. But not only is it time consuming (with no guarantee of finding it due to poorly designed government websites) but  without a third party, you will not be automatically alerted to new opportunities.

Keep in mind, some government entities will only allow you to respond to them via BidSync. BidSync has also caused some controversy.

Teaming Up For Microfiche Conversion

If you subscribe to RFP services like BidSync, RFP Mart, Onvia, FedBizOpps.gov and others, or you work with counties, cities, state governments, you may come across microfiche scanning portions of a bid.

If you do not have the capability to digitize microfiche (COM fiche, 16mm jackets fiche, 35mm microfiche, and other types), you should contact a microfiche scanning company that does. This scanning company can help any organizations who can’t handle the details of scanning microfiche for government entities.

Here is an example of what a basic microfiche solicitation looks like on RFP websites:

Product (RFP/RFQ/RFI/Solicitation/Tender/Bid Etc.) ID: DE-2292

Government Authority located in Missouri; USA based organization looking for expert vendor for microfilm rolls to digital image scanning and indexing services.

[A] Budget: Looking for proposal

[B] Scope of Service:

(1) Vendor needs to provide microfiche to digital image scanning and indexing services using minimum scanning resolution at 300 dpi into pdf format.
(2) Approximately work volume containing an estimate of 1.5 million Images.
(3) All questions must be submitted no later than a deadine.
(4) A contract term should be for one year.

[C] Eligibility:

Onshore (USA Only)

[D] Work Performance:

Performance of the work will be Offsite. Vendor needs to carry work in their office premises.

Expiry Date : [Deadline]

Category : Data Entry, Scanning, Records and Document Related Services

Country : USA

State : [insert state] CONTACT US